OVERVIEW: The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides money and services to people in a declared disaster area whose property has been damaged or destroyed and whose losses are not covered by insurance. Help is available only to homeowners and renters who are United States citizens, non-citizen nationals, or qualified aliens affected by the disaster. The types of assistance that may be available are:
- Temporary Housing – homeowners and renters receive funds to rent a different place to live or a temporary housing unit when rental properties are not available.
- Repair – homeowners receive grants to repair damages from the disaster that are not covered by insurance. The goal is to make the damaged home safe and sanitary.
- Replacement – under rare conditions, homeowners receive limited funds to replace their disaster damaged home.
- Permanent Housing Construction – homeowners and renters receive direct assistance or a grant for the construction of a new home. This type of assistance occurs only in very unusual situations, in insular areas or remote locations specified by FEMA where no other type of housing is possible.
- Other Needs Assistance – applicants receive grants for necessary and serious needs caused by the disaster. This includes medical, dental, funeral, personal property, transportation, moving and storage, and other expenses that FEMA approves. The homeowner may need to apply for a Small Business Administration loan before receiving assistance.
TIMETABLE: Available only after a declared disaster.
APPLICATION PROCESS: The disaster victim must register for assistance and establish eligibility. Registration can be done in the following ways:
- Call the toll-free number 1-800-621-FEMA (3362); Speech or hearing-impaired callers can use the TTY number 1-800-462-7585
- Go to FEMA’s website.
- FEMA will begin using mobile registration intake units to travel to areas where telephone service is not available.
TAGS: housing, structural, funding, declared disaster